There’s no shortage of new things to learn with Mac OS X. I’ve resigned myself to an everlasting, never ending, always-something-new ‘upgrade’ to learning Tiger’s hidden tips and tricks.
Here’s a tip you can use. Many tips are hidden and no one knows why.
Speedy onscreen action has never been the Mac’s forte’. Classic or OS X. Windows always ‘felt’ faster. Menus popped up faster. Things seemed to happen faster.
That was mostly true when comparing Windows 2000 with early versions of Mac OS X. These days, everything is fast (relative term; if you’re comparing a 3.8ghz WindXP box to a Mac mini… well, don’t go there).
Where Mac OS X Tiger really shines is when it gets out of your way. The work flow, that nebulous area where we define what we use a computer for, seems to run much faster in Tiger.
Here’s a few tips to get more mileage from the Tiger in your Mac’s tank.
Windows users have long gloated over the fact that Mac users don’t have keyboard shortcuts for everything (truly handy). That means the hand leaves the keyboard from time to time to use the mouse.
Tiger to the rescue. Try the ‘Save As’ dialog, for example. We all use it. You can’t save a file to a new location without it.
OK, try to save a file using the Save As selection in the File menu. As soon as the dialog box pops up, click the Tab key.
Notice the difference? Right away, the highlighting is gone from the naming field at the top, and moved to the sidebar. Now you can use the arrow keys on the keyboard to move from folder to folder, and navigate without having to move your hand from the keyboard to the mouse.
Begone evil Windows users!!
Wait! There’s more. I got into column view in the Finder in early versions of Mac OS X. I won’t go back to opening up window after window after window.
Column view is here to stay. What I especially like in Tiger (from Panther) is the left column which usually lists the Desktop, home directory, Pictures, Music, and Movies folders.
Remarkably, what many Mac users don’t know is that you can drag regularly used folders into the left column. It acts like an alias, so you don’t have to search for a folder. Just click on the folder in the left column.
Now, here’s a great tip beyond that. If you have more than one Mac in an office that you connect to, the usual routine is to click Connect to Server in the Go menu. Then you navigate to the server folder you want, right?
Once you do that, drag that folder over to the left column with the others. Next time you need to drop something (or get something from) in that folder, it’s there and ready. It can even login automagically for you.
OS X Tiger has a gas tank full of tricks like that. They cost less than a gas tank of gasoline these days.
Oh, one more thing—anyone recognize the person in the photo above?